‘Very disappointed’ with West Midlands Police crime recording

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has today published an assessment on the accuracy of crime recording in West Midlands Police, which found that the force records around 83 percent of crimes reported to it.

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West Midlands Police: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2017

HMICFRS previously inspected the accuracy of crime recording in West Midlands Police in 2014.

To assess the extent that recorded crime information in West Midlands Police can be trusted, HMICFRS asked:

  • How effective is the force at recording reported crime?
  • How efficiently do the systems and processes in the force support accurate crime recording?
  • How well does the force demonstrate the leadership and culture necessary to meet the national standards for crime recording?

Based on these criteria, overall HMICFRS has judged West Midlands as ‘inadequate’.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said:

“I am very disappointed with the result of our recent inspection into how West Midlands Police records crime. We estimate that the force fails to record over 38,800 crimes every year. This is not just low-level crime: it includes sexual offences and violent crime. Not only does this mean the force cannot fully understand the demand it faces to plan accordingly, but it also means that victims could potentially be at more risk of harm, without the required support.

“In particular, the force needs to improve how it manages cases of domestic abuse. We found a large number of cases where safeguarding requirements for victims had not been considered or recorded, and for which no investigation had been carried out. This is a cause of serious concern. It is encouraging that the force has taken steps to remedy this, and we will be monitoring how this translates in to real improvements.

“I expect the force to make rapid progress in implementing the recommendations we make in this report. The serious causes of concern found during this inspection are such that HMICFRS will re-visit the force in early 2018 to assess progress.”

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West Midlands Police: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2017

Notes to editors

  1. HMICFRS is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing to promote improvements in policing that make everyone safer, and assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence.
  2. On 19 July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
  3. HMICFRS inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies.
  4. HMICFRS are unable to make direct comparisons with the 2014 inspection due to a change in the methodology used. In particular, the 2014 inspection was a dip-sample of records in each force which contributed to a statistically robust rate for crime-recording accuracy for England and Wales, whereas this inspection is working to a statistically robust standard within each force.
  5. Further information on how West Midlands Police is performing can be found on HMICFRS’ online assessment tool.
  6. For further information, HMICFRS’ press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 0203 513 0600.
  7. HMICFRS’ out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729.